Posts Tagged ‘msnbc’

This morning I cast my vote for Barack Obama for President of the United States. It’s a beautiful fall day in Louisiana with a steady stream of locals at our small precinct located at the elementary school a block away from home. I let my 7 yr old push the buttons that I told him to. The two most significant buttons were Obama and Vote. I’ll remind him of that several years from now.

A couple years ago Louisiana upgraded to electronic voting machines which have seemed to work just fine in previous elections. At our precincts a sample ballot, as it appears on the machine, is posted outside and in several places inside the school. We had to wait in line no more than 5 minutes. A poll worker checks your driver’s license and looks your name up in the roll book. You sign in a blank next to your name. She initials next to your signature and spells your name out to two other poll workers who are handwriting two separate lists of voters. This insures you don’t vote twice, which wasn’t always the case in our colorful Louisiana history. My sister-in-law had to go to two different precincts to vote this morning because she had moved to a different parish (county) but was able to vote nonetheless. Other than that, I’ve heard of no problems at the polls.

Rachel Maddow on MSNBC said the other night that ridiculously long lines at polling places is a new kind of poll tax. I think she’s right. An hour is understandable in heavily populated areas. Never before in history have so many people voted in any election on a given day ever. There’s bound to be a wait, but six hours is absurd. How can people work and vote in those conditions? If 2000 focused the nation on hanging chads, 2008 should focus the nation on efficiency and competency at the polls. Sadly, the longest lines and the oldest voting machines are almost always found in the poorer black communities. That is inexcusable. I hope and am confident despite the outcome of today’s election that Democrats in Congress will hold hearings and hopefully press hard to resolve this problem for good.

If you haven’t voted yet, you still have time, even if you are voting for McCain. Good luck, America.

Barack ObamaMy wife observed that I’ve been watching MSBNC and CNN more than Fox News lately. I used to only watch Fox. I told her Fox doesn’t even try to hide their bias anymore. I can’t take it. Apparently, my religious views aren’t the only thing that’s changed in the last few years. I have always been a Republican and have only voted for Democrats in local and state races where personal integrity was more important to me than political branding. For the record President Bush has been an enormous disappointment to me, although I believe he has been much better than the alternative of Al Gore or John Kerry. Aside from the early Bush tax cuts and the pastoral duties he pulled after 9/11, the rest of his administration has been a joke to me. It pisses me off that we could have a Ivy League graduate for president that can’t speak the English language. What? Did he cliff note his way through college? In hindsight we got more of the conservative agenda passed with Bill Clinton as president than we have with George W. Bush.

Having said that the field of Republican candidates has been a joke. Is this the best they can come up with? Early on I liked Thompson until he came out, if you will. Talk about a ‘thud.’ You have to wish someone would stick a live 110 volt wire up his ass just to see if he would jump while at the podium. Totally lifeless. Taking all the right positions in an campaign means nothing anymore. It’s just spin. G.W. did the same and look where it got us. He’s effectively destroyed the Republican party.

So, I liked Huckabee when I heard him. He’s smart and witty. He seems to make sense and be saying what a lot of normal people I know think. The whole pastoral thing didn’t bother me much because I followed him a little bit as Governor of Arkansas. I was really pulling for him until I saw him stumping from pulpits. Then he started saying wierd stuff about the ‘Word of God’ being more important than the Constitution and how the Constitution should be changed to line up with the ‘Word of God’ and not the other way around. Stop the presses! That’s a whole lot of fundamentalism coming from a supposedly populist/moderate candidate. Even if he’s just placating to the evangelical base, it still scares me. I’ve had more than enough of G.W.’s Christianity being espoused from the White House. He’s done as much damage to the image of Christ followers in the world as he has to Republicans. So, I think I’m done with Huckabee.

I never liked Guiliani despite his 9/11 rant and lead in national polls all of last year. He effectively imploded. You can blame his Florida-only strategy all you want. It was him that was the problem. Something just bugged me about him as a person, and no, it wasn’t his multiple marriages or social positions. Romney? I’ve got to be honest. I cannot get past the fact that he’s a Mormon. Most people in the South can’t either. I know it’s religious bigotry or something, but as hard as it has been for me to take evangelicals seriously since I’ve deconverted, it is impossible for me to take Mormons seriously in their magic underwear. On top of all the Jude0-Christian spin we’re supposed to take literally, Mormons believe Jesus showed up in America in the 1800’s, and golden plates descended from heaven to Joseph Smith with the book of Mormon on them? Can’t go there. I have a general knee-jerk reaction to anyone who wears their religion on their shirt sleeve. G.W. may have used the Texas Air National Guard to get out of Vietnam, but Romney was a Mormon missionary during that time! I’ve had enough of religious nuts in the White House. Sorry. Not to mention Romney looks as fake as a daytime soap star. He has changed his positions depending on whether he was trying to get elected the Governor of Massachusetts or POTUS. It’s just more spin.

Everyone wants to pay homage to McCain’s POW years and that’s respectable. I even gave money to him the first time he ran against G.W. in 2000, but this is not the same McCain. He’s waffled on so many things. He’s sold out the party on more than one occasion and now expects the party to fall in line behind him. He’s been playing to ‘his friends’ in the Senate for the last 8 years. Let them put him in the White House if they want to. I don’t like his temper. I agree with him on pork spending, but he wants to keep us in Iraq indefinately. What the hell? Time to pack up and hit the road.

I think the best thing for the Republican party is to lose. They can have a gut check and get with the program if they want to win again. Once they got power they did the same things the Democrats did. Spend, spend, spend, and increase the size and power of the federal government.

There is nothing in me that will allow me to pull a lever for Hillary. If Bill were running right now, I’d vote for him again in a heartbeat, but not her. Her claim to fame is that she is his wife. She’s been in the Senate for a term and a half. That’s it. No other elected office. I don’t like her personally or politically. Now, Obama. I really like him. It may be a generational thing, but he resonates with me. I can find plenty to pick apart with him on policies, but I think the country has swung way too far to the right. It’s past time for a correction. V for Vendetta illustrates well the extremes of the far right if left unchecked. It’s not really all fiction. Obama has tapped into the pulse of the country. I can’t really pick anything he’s said that I whole heartedly disagree with. Give driver’s licenses to illegals! I really don’t care. They’re driving anyway aren’t they? If people would just build a damn fence from Texas to California and deport any that commit crimes, I could care less if the rest of them stay here or not. Can you imagine the humanitarian crisis of a massive forced expulsion of millions of people? Could we possible retain our humanity and heard millions like cattle? I digress. I’ll be blogging more about Obama and the race later. Suffice it to say for now, that I have to pull the lever Saturday for a Republican because we have a closed primary system in Louisiana, so I’ll probably pull it for Huckabee because he’s not Romney and won’t win anyway. In the general election I’ll pull for Obama. If he’s not on the ballot, I’ll be ticked. If Hillary’s the nominee, I may have to pull for McCain and live with it. What a sad day it will be if we miss the opportunity to put Obama in the White House. I think John Mayer’s song “Waitin’ on the World to Change” embodies the sentiment of so many. Obama said that ‘we are the change that we’ve been waiting for.’ I believe that, and I hope he is too.